Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Catch Outrage Before It’s Out of Range

The latest Consumer Reports magazine says that, on a CR survey, 64%, or about two out of every three shoppers, report having left a store because the service was poor.
     I don’t take that statistic at face value. Based on my retail consulting experience, I believe consumers, while they are in a store, are more tolerant of bad customer service than that. Yes, many shoppers will abandon a shopping cart and head out the exit when treated poorly. But most shoppers don’t want to abandon their shopping intentions, so will complete the transaction, maybe pledging never to return again.
     Below face value, the CR statistic is important. Based on my shopper psychology knowledge, I can believe that around two out of every three shoppers do take away from an experience of flawed customer service enough anger to claim on a survey that they had walked out the door, even when they had not.
     The implication for action: Check with customers as they leave how you can improve, and then decide if it is worthwhile for you to take their suggestions. Catch any outrage before it is out of range.
     Cashiers are often instructed to ask each customer, “Did you find everything you were looking for?” That’s a good question, but not good enough, especially when asked in a robotic tone and when the cashier fails to report the findings to management.
     A better question is “What would you like to see in our store that we don’t have now?”
     And since the outraged customer isn’t even going through the cash/wrap, we’ll need to have the question asked by any staff member who sees a browser, shopper, or customer exiting. Here’s why I prefer this phrasing:
  • It gives a broader area for the customer to make suggestions. They can answer, “I’d like to see you have more staff so I don’t have to wait a long time to get an answer to my questions,” for instance.
  • It keeps the focus on the future. “Did you find everything you were looking for?” can draw a “No” which implies the store is not the place to get all that the customer wants. “What would you like to see in our store that we don’t have now?” implies, “If we don’t have it now, we’ll be thinking about having it for you next time you come in, whether product or attention to shoppers.”
Click below for more:
Draw Out Advice & Opinions from Shoppers
Turn Every Unhappy Customer Into a Loyal One
Define Customer Service for Your People

No comments:

Post a Comment